all of the selves we Have ever been
Letters to Santa--Red, White, and Blue
Dear Mr. Santa Claus:
It has come to my attention that many people are planning to submit their Christmas wish lists on paper via the U.S. Postal Service this year. That can’t happen. It will be a total disaster. Don’t be fooled by claims that people need to submit their wishes in this manner just because of a little worldwide pandemic. People are making too much of this Chinese virus, or the Kung flu, as I like to call it. We need more focus on the economy and on me. Therefore, I insist that any individual who wants a present this year come to a crowded department store and make his or her request in person. Feel free to give each person a MAGA hat for stopping by—that’s on me because I am the most generous President that’s ever lived, and Christmas is a red holiday.
Please be aware that I am onto those letter-dumping schemes. Millions and millions of people all over the United States are filling Santa mailboxes with multiple letters using different names, even the names of dead people. This is especially true in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. I will not stand for this. We will be sending pole watchers to read every letter and cross-check every address and signature. We don’t care if it takes all year or even four years because we know the result we are looking for, and we won’t give up until we get it.
I want it clear that I will get everything I want for Christmas this year or the entire timeless holiday tradition is over. I will bury you in litigation and send angry mobs to your home to dismantle your workshop, terrorize your elves, slap the red nose off of Rudolph, and hang you out to dry like a string of blown Christmas lights. People will forget you ever lived. We’ll even do away sleighs and snow.
One of my campaign promises was to bring back coal. It’s a beautiful thing, and I expect your full cooperation with this initiative. Since I am the one who determines who is naughty or nice this year, every person in each of the blue states, every registered Democrat, and every relative of a registered Democrat should receive a stocking full of coal this year. It’s my two–birds-with-one-stone policy.
Believe you me, I am already searching for your replacement. Krampus is tops on the list should you let me down by becoming a stupid loser. No administration ever has had the record-setting turnover of this administration. No one. Ever. I’m not afraid to tweet, “You’re fired!” You’ll find out. You’ll see.
A President of the United States
Dear Santa Claus,
As you know, there is a world-wide pandemic this year. With just days until Christmas, we have no hope that this scourge will end in time for your annual visit. As an essential worker, you may ignore the stay-at-home orders and the curfews. Considering your traditional twelve-month quarantine, we have deemed you safe for travel, and we are providing you with this authorization. Continue to come when we are sleeping to avoid face-to-face contact. There will be no holding children on your lap this year. And please do not attempt to kiss mama underneath the mistletoe.
I know you are a manufacturing genius, but can you please shop local this year? There is curbside pick-up so you won’t be slowed down. Food is a welcome present this year, and if you have some jobs to offer, there are many in need. Rent vouchers and gift cards are also appropriate. Please send as much PPE as you can spare and adequate vaccine for all of our citizens.
An American Governor
People have been calling us health care heroes, but we don’t feel much like heroes. We cannot keep up with the need. We are exhausted and terrified. A microscopic Grinch is stealing Christmas this year.
We don’t have much time for list-making, and the accumulation of stuff no longer matters. We won’t be home to open presents from under our trees. We now appreciate what it means to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. The entire world is falling ill.
You know what it means to have everyone wanting something from you. We get it now, and we want to lighten your load and the weight of your sleigh. These are our most fervent wishes, and they will not take up much space: Bring us health. Bring us unity. We know that joy will follow.
We need you this year, Santa. We are short on beds, short on staff, and short on strength.
An American Health Care Worker
I love to-do lists.
I have a general one that I update each morning. No matter how stressful the day ahead, it feels manageable when I see the tasks and deadlines outlined and orderly. I feel empowered by crossing items from the list, so much so that I always start the list with something I have already completed just for the pleasure of drawing a line through it.
Recently, however, I have been thinking about the things I am not going to do any more. This brought me to the recollection of a man I met who was going through a divorce. He said, “It seems like women get into their forties and they just go crazy!” Hmm.
Seems to me that women get into their forties and become peri-menopausal. Their estrogen tanks and their testosterone starts to show off. Technically, I think that makes women over forty more like men. Call me crazy.
Truth is we all grow stronger in our convictions as we get older. I now consider it a privilege, if not a duty, of aging. Blame it on hormones or life experience. At some point, we have all we can take and then we take a stand. We are not so much “set in our ways,” as we are busting loose.
So here are some of the items on my growing not-to-do list:
I could go on, but that would be crazy.